The Labor-Hatnuah joint ticket is opening up a small lead over Likud, according to two polls released Thursday. The polls, taken after the Labor Party announced its list Wednesday, project Herzog holding an advantage of one to four seat in the next Knesset.
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The Channel 10 poll gives Labor-Hatnuah 24 seats, up one from the previous poll. Likud held steady at 20 seats, followed by Habayit Hayehudi (16), a joint Arab list (12), Yesh Atid and Kulanu (10 each), UTJ (7) and Shas and Meretz (6 each). Yisrael Beiteinu slipped two seats to five. This poll projects Eli Yishai's new party, Ha'am Itanu, crossing the electoral threshold and winning four seats.
The Channel 10 poll is the first one giving Herzog a chance of forming the next government, projecting that he could assemble a coalition of between 61 and 68 seats. However, Netanyahu was picked as the most appropriate candidate to be prime minister among the poll of 860 respondents, holding a 42-35 percent lead over Herzog.
Labor-Hatnuah did slightly better in the Channel Two News poll, being projected to win 25 seats to Likud's 23. The poll also gave 16 seats to Habayit Hayehudi, 11 to Yesh Atid, eight to Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu, seven to Yisrael Beiteinu, UTJ and Shas, six to Ra'am-Ta'al and five to Hadash and Meretz each. The Channel Two poll projects that Ha'am Itanu would fail to cross the electoral threshold.